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Interview Boker Trainees

This year, too, new apprentices are taking their first steps into professional life at Boker Manufaktur in Solingen. We are currently training a total of 12 apprentices in the professions of metal technology specialist (specializing in machining technology and assembly technology), machine and plant operator, industrial clerk, marketing communications clerk, IT specialist (specializing in system integration) and warehouse specialist. This time we looked over the shoulders of Nassim (21) and Eric (17) during their exciting training. If you are also looking for an apprenticeship and would like to become part of our apprentice team, we look forward to receiving your application!


Why did you decide on this apprenticeship?

Nassim: As an industrial clerk, you have the advantage of getting to know many different departments during the course of your training and working there for about 12 weeks (depending on the department). After graduating from high school, I wasn't sure which area I wanted to train in, so I decided to become an industrial clerk. This way I can answer the question for myself after finishing the apprenticeship, which department and which work suits me best and in which department I would like to work permanently.

Eric: I have always been interested in knives. Since my uncle also worked for a well-known company in the cutlery industry, it was obvious to turn my hobby into a profession. I have always been a craftsman, so the training as a metal technology specialist / specializing in assembly technology appealed to me directly.

Why did you decide on Boker?

Nassim: Before I started the apprenticeship, I didn't know Boker too well. But it was important to me to work in a company that manufactures a final product. At Boker, you can follow the high vertical range of manufacture in detail from the first to the last production step of a knife. In addition, you have many opportunities to work in different departments here after your training. Boker not only takes on many apprentices as permanent employees after their training, but also offers further training opportunities.

Eric: As a knife fan, Boker was of course a household name to me and not really comparable to other employers. Boker has a very long history and is a Solingen-based bedrock in the knife industry. As a traditional company, producing not only classics but also modern knives simply convinced me.

What are your tasks?

Nassim: At the moment I'm in the work preparation department and will probably work there until the end of my apprenticeship. There, it's mainly about control processes in production. We plan and create production orders. This includes creating and revising article parts lists and work sequences. In order for us to be able to create a production order, all production-relevant individual parts and components must be in stock in the parts warehouse in sufficient quantities. Since we produce the individual parts such as blades, shells, blanks, jaws, back springs, etc. ourselves, good planning is extremely important in order to avoid delivery bottlenecks in the final product. We buy in screws and small parts, so communication with external suppliers is also part of our activities. The tasks in this department are very varied.

Eric: My basic tasks are drilling, countersinking, reaming, pinning and knife assembly. A particular challenge here is that each of these work steps requires maximum concentration. Every deviation, every inaccuracy affects the next work step. The standards I set myself are therefore very high.

What do you enjoy the most?

Nassim: I personally enjoyed working with my colleagues and the excursions and events with the trainees, which were always very entertaining. In addition, we trainees organize the company parties together (e.g. Christmas party), which is always a great change.

Eric: What I enjoy the most is the reiding (i.e. the assembly). Here you are even closer to the end product than when machining individual components. Learning the art of knifemaking from experienced colleagues and getting tips and tricks firsthand is definitely always something special for me.

What do you like best about our products?

Nassim: The diversity in our range. Even if you have little interest in knives, you would find the right knife for you in our range. I especially like the design of our more modern pocket knives like the Boker TRPPR.

Eric: I particularly like the high proportion of handwork. The products don't just fall out of a machine, but go through an insane number of individual steps. Here, quality is the be-all and end-all - without it, nothing works.

What future prospects do you have in this profession?

Nassim: My goal is to stay with Boker after the apprenticeship in the work preparation department. Although I am only in my second year of training, I have already received an offer of employment, which I am happy to accept. After the apprenticeship, I would like to continue my education, for example by studying business administration while working.

Eric: At Boker, you can train extensively and learn other professions such as electrician, tool mechanic and others. This opens many doors for me. I would also like to stay at Boker after my apprenticeship. Both employment as a reider in the reiderei or in the etching department would be very appealing to me.

Are you sometimes fed up with knives?
Nassim: No, not really. At the beginning of my training, I wasn't that interested in knives. In the meantime, I have developed a distinct passion and my interest continues to grow.
Eric: No, the variety of knives inspires me anew every time, so I don't get bored anytime soon.

How do you like to spend your free time? You both like to play soccer?

Nassim: Correct. I played for a long time in the club as a 10. Recently, I was unfortunately injured for a longer time at the knee, but now I play again twice a week with friends in a soccer hall and also organize smaller tournaments. In addition, I regularly go to the gym and to boxing. Otherwise, I spend my free time with family and friends.

Eric: I currently play for BVG Gräfrath in the Bergische Liga as a defender. Otherwise the usual: Meeting friends, going to the movies, listening to music.

Do you have any final words that you would like to address to potential future trainees?

Nassim: Back then, I was always told that you should go to university with a general university entrance qualification. I'm glad that I decided to do an apprenticeship anyway, because the practical experience helped me enormously. Besides, I can still study part-time after my apprenticeship.

Eric: If you are interested in knives or even fascinated by them, then I would come to Boker, because you learn a lot about the history and variety of knives. Department managers and colleagues are very friendly and helpful. Generally flat hierarchies and a high appreciation for good work.

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